The company has not given an explanation for the delay to its smart speaker, simply saying that it "need[s] a little more time"

Apple has just announced it is delaying the launch of its HomePod smart speaker (although has neglected to give a reason why).

In a statement, Apple said that "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers.

"We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018."

The HomePod was first announced at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June - it is intended to go up against Amazon's Echo speaker, the Google Homethe upcoming Allure from Microsoft and other products such as the Sonos One (which has built-in Alexa).

We've had a hands-on with the product already, but are eagerly waiting to see the smart speaker properly in action - so while 2018 isn't too long to wait (if were talking about January 2018, anyhow), and you can get some Christmas shopping done) in the meantime, with no knowledge of why the company is holding it back we might be waiting a little while yet...

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